The role of lead in a syndrome of clenched claw paralysis and leg paresis in swamp harriers (Circus approximans).
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Harriers (Physiological aspects)
Harriers (Diseases)
Harriers (Research)
Lead poisoning (Research)
Paralysis (Causes of)
Paralysis (Research)
Pub Date: 12/01/2011
Publication: Name: Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery Publisher: Association of Avian Veterinarians Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Association of Avian Veterinarians ISSN: 1082-6742
Issue: Date: Dec, 2011 Source Volume: 25 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Accession Number: 282214800
Full Text: The role of lead in a syndrome of clenched claw paralysis and leg paresis in swamp harriers (Circus approximans). McLelland JM, Gartrell BD, Morgan K J, et al. J Wildl Dis'. 2011;47:907-916.

We investigated the hypothesis that lead poisoning was the cause of the clinical syndrome of clenched feet paralysis and leg paresis in wild raptors. Swamp harriers (Circus approximans) are one of three extant native raptor species in New Zealand. Harriers with the syndrome were found to have statistically significantly higher blood lead concentrations than those without clenched feet (t-test; t = -4.06, df = 5, P = 0.01). However, elevated blood lead concentrations were also present in 60% of wild harriers without the clinical syndrome of clenched feet paralysis and leg paresis. There were features of the response to chelation treatment, electroneurodiagnostics, and pathology that were inconsistent with lead poisoning as reported in other birds of prey. We conclude that lead may be a factor in the expression of this clinical syndrome of clenched claw paralysis but that other factors not identified in our study play a role in the expression of the disease.
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